Challenges in yard management – first hurdles at the gate
Yard logistics often presents quite a few challenges and problems as a result of interactions between many different external and internal components.
Without a system-based Yard Management, the first complications often already occur when the forwarding agent enters the plant premises at the gate. Information on the driver and potential co-drivers, vehicle data and the truck’s weight are often entered manually into the paper-based gate book. On top of that, the gatekeeper has to manually check the freight documents carried by the forwarding agent. Inconsistencies often surface here, resulting in a serious loss of time. Additionally, the commissioning of the goods to be picked up is usually initiated in the shipping office only after the check-in. As a result, the forwarding agent will have to wait at the ramp for the delivery and loading to be completed first. In short, the entire process here works on demand and is therefore extremely time and cost inefficient.
In our first article of the three-part series on Yard Management, you will find basic information on the subject of Yard Management with SAP and Flexus. Please check out
Optimized check-in process thanks to mobile Flexus apps
In order to make this registration process more efficient, the driver will announce his or her arrival via the Cloud before the tour starts. This is done centrally by the service provider, or by the forwarding agent via cell phone, either online or offline. Data on the driver, delivery to be registered or picked up, and a time window are queried here and stored in SAP.
The authorizations of the notifying person are centrally controlled through the SAP standard of the company. Alternatively, a self-registration at the terminal can be performed. This eliminates clarification processes and the manually managed gate book. The driver drives up to the gate and provides identification with a cell phone barcode or docket barcode.
The weighing and license plate recognition also take place when entering the plant premises. After successful check, the traffic lights and gate can grant automated entry.
Efficient processes with advance shipping notification via the cloud
The above mentioned stay and waiting times of the forwarding agent cause another major problem. Buffer zones and parking spaces are usually not available in sufficient quantity since larger parking lots are very cost-intensive. For this reason, the advance registration of the forwarding agent, and the associated time planning, is tied to great advantages. This is because there will be no traffic jams on the plant premises, or, for example, the idle times of the driver will not correlate with the internal logistics
. Would you like to learn more about the Flexus Yard Management solution? In our first part of the series of articles you will find general information about the subject of Yard and Ramp Management
With this advance shipping notification and a related time window planning, the result is a thoroughly planned control of incoming trucks, primarily at the gates but also at the ramps and parking lots. Additionally, the company can precisely schedule the pre-commissioning and provide the delivery “just in time” for the forwarding agent, preventing unnecessary waiting times. It is also possible to react in real-time to any delays on part of the forwarding agent because he or she can send delay notifications via the app.
The original time window planning will then be intuitively changed by the person responsible for logistics via Drag & Drop. The driver will be informed about such changes via SMS, for example. The scheduled parking lot or the designated ramp could in such a case be used in other ways, like for an earlier pickup, for example.
Author – Julian Lother
Team Lead Yard Management
Working at Flexus, he successfully implements projects in the field of Yard Management. As a consultant in this field, he optimizes the entire process of Yard and Ramp Logistics with SAP solutions by Flexus!